The impact of solar wind ULF B-z fluctuations on geomagnetic activity for viscous timescales during strongly northward and southward IMF

A. Osmane*, A. P. Dimmock, R. Naderpour, T. I. Pulkkinen, K. Nykyri

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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    Abstract

    We analyze more than 17 years of OMNI data to statistically quantify the impact of IMF B-z fluctuations on AL by using higher-order moments in the AL-distribution as a proxy. For strongly southward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), the AL distribution function is characterized by a decrease of the skewness, a shift of its peak from -30 nT to -200 nT, and a broadening of the distribution core. During northward IMF, the distribution of AL is characterized by a significant reduction of the standard deviation and weight in the tail. Following this characterization of AL for southward and northward IMF, we show that IMF fluctuations enhance the driving on timescales smaller than those of substorms by shifting the peak of the probability distribution function by more than 150 nT during southward IMF, and by narrowing the distribution function by a factor of 2 during northward IMF. For both southward and northward IMF, we demonstrate that high power fluctuations in B-z systematically result in a greater level of activity on timescales consistent with viscous processes. Our results provide additional quantitative evidence of the role of the solar wind fluctuations in geomagnetic activity. The methodology presented also provides a framework to characterize short timescale magnetospheric dynamics taking place on the order of viscous timescales tau

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9307-9322
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of geophysical research: Space physics
    Volume120
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Keywords

    • INTERPLANETARY MAGNETIC-FIELD
    • KINETIC ALFVEN WAVES
    • KELVIN-HELMHOLTZ VORTICES
    • FLUX-TRANSFER EVENTS
    • EARTHS MAGNETOPAUSE
    • PLASMA TRANSPORT
    • CLUSTER OBSERVATIONS
    • RING CURRENT
    • MAGNETOSPHERE
    • RECONNECTION

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